I Coast's Ouattara names ex-PM as new vice president

FILE: Ivory Coast's prime minister, Daniel Kablan Duncan named as the country's first vice-president. Photo: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

ABIDJAN - Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara on Tuesday named outgoing prime minister Daniel Kablan Duncan as the country's first vice-president and chose a key aide, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, as the new premier.

Addressing a special session of parliament, Ouattara described 73-year-old Duncan as "devoted, a loyal collaborator" and "a patriot and great servant of the state".

The new post of vice-president was set up under constitutional changes voted by referendum and approved in November.

Some analysts have said the new VP could be well-placed to step into Ouattara's shoes in the future.

Duncan's nomination comes a day after he and his government resigned following legislative elections in December.

Separately, the presidency said Ouattara had appointed Coulibaly, 57, former secretary general of the president's office, as prime minister.

Coulibaly "will propose a new government as soon as possible," a statement said.

Former rebel leader Guillaume Soro, who served as premier for five years until 2012, was re-elected parliament speaker on Monday.

Also on Monday, Ouattara fired the heads of the country's armed forces and police after a brief army mutiny that stoked security fears in the world's top cocoa producer.

The two-day revolt was worst in the country's second city of Bouake, the cradle of a failed attempt in 2002 to oust then president Laurent Gbagbo.

The revolt sliced the former French colony into the rebel-held north and the government-controlled south and triggered years of unrest.

AFP

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